“Peace of mind is not the absence of conflict from life, but the ability to cope with it.” ~Unknown
I am confident. I am content. I am complete. I am calm.
I decided that this was going to be my new mantra. I decided this at 8:26 a.m. I repeated it to myself over and over while showering, getting dressed, and driving to work.
I ascended the stairs to my office, singing the words in my head. I am confident. I am content. I am complete. I am calm.
This was going to be a good day. I would stay …
“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Whenever I’m tempted to play it safe with my life, whenever I start talking myself out of the risks I really want to take, I think about something my friend Jesse said years ago, when we were on a work-sponsored retreat.
After a day of travel, activities, and settling in, we were left with a free evening. As the darkness deepened, a group of us stood together, discussing our options. What would we do on our first night in the woods?
There was …
“People who urge you to be realistic generally want you to accept their version of reality.” ~Unknown
I’m often open to suggestion. I like to gather opinions and feedback about my writing so that I can use it to improve the impact and make it a better read.
The thing I’ve learned about listening to other people’s thoughts on my writing is that sometimes what seems like good advice is little more than personal preference; changing an image or an entire scene to suit one person isn’t always the right path, especially if my gut is saying, “You know you …
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” ~William Shakespeare
I love to paint. I’m not a professional artist. I have no technique, and I am not trained. But I love how the brush feels as it dips into color and moves across a white page.
Painting allows me to be free, to have fun and play. It also does something else: It shows me how I judge myself and how I can get in my own way. It reveals what I believe about myself that stops me from creating whatever I want.
Even as I …
“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” ~Pema Chodron
I love acceptance. Acts of surrender create forward momentum.
If we all pause for a moment and observe what we are fighting, right here and right now—maybe depression, anxiety, weight gain, low self-image, or financial stress—we’ll have an opportunity to accept then.
But that’s just the start.
Recently I accepted something I never thought I would. Reframing the way I thought about it changed my life.
I have moderate to severe OCD. Having OCD is basically like …
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron
We are currently in the midst of home improvement—what we thought would be a small “touch-up.” Nothing seemed too threatening on the surface, just a scratch here, a nick there. It would be a simple fix.
But when we began the project and uncovered the areas we were going to address, we saw there was much more than met the eye, as often happens in life. We could no longer ignore what we had sealed over and painted, covered with lovely flowers, and ignored …
“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” ~George Sheehan
Here’s the routine: wake up, do my work, watch TV, and go to bed.
This was a regular day in my life not long ago. It was not too eventful and not overly challenging, and to be the honest, the less challenging it was, the less stress there was for me—at least that’s what I thought.
I had been working online for a few years, and my income was not up to where I wanted it to …
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~Buddha
I used to teach Adult Upgrading. My students were people who had never completed grade school and/or high school. For a variety of reasons, they were now ready to try it again.
New students would say, “I wasn’t ever any good at school.” “I can’t do math.” “I hate fractions.”
It’s my belief that our self-talk is programming ourselves for our statements to be true.
Those students thought they’d been stating the facts, not revealing programmed beliefs.…
“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~Lao Tzu
Pretty much everyone I know thinks they should be doing better in some way, at least sometimes.
Are you totally and completely satisfied with what you’ve done so far in life? No little part of you thinks, maybe I should have more money in the bank? Or maybe I should have a more professional wardrobe, or a book contract, or a dog that’s housebroken?
The word “should” isn’t exactly enlightened or peaceful, nor is the practice of judging yourself or believing that you’re not exactly …
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~Dalai Lama
A year ago, I hit rock bottom. Until that point, I had put all my energy into my dream of becoming a physician. Last year my life slammed into a brick wall, and my plans seemed to be torn into pieces.
After high school, I took every opportunity to immerse myself in the medical profession while maintaining my grades in college.
During the summer of my freshman year, I worked as an Emergency Medical Technician and practiced being a first responder during medical emergencies. …
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” ~Chinese proverb
As Tiny Buddha grows larger, I find there are a lot more people emailing me with requests. The people-pleaser in me wants to say yes to everyone, but the reality is that there is only so much time in the day—and we all have a right to allocate our time as best supports our intentions, needs, and goals.
Recently someone contacted me with a request that I was unable to honor. After I communicated that, he made a sweeping judgment about …
“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” ~Basho
When I was a little girl growing up in the big woods of Maine, my mother used to say that gifts do not always come in the packages we expect. In many ways I’ve tried to live by her words, knowing that even during the rough times there are diamonds I can find if I look for them.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the fact that, exactly three years ago, my husband Dan and I packed up our small car and journeyed west to Los Angeles with our …
“What does not kill me, makes me stronger” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
If you knew me, you’d think that I float through life without a care, that nothing fazes me, and that I don’t get stressed. For the most part this is true, but every now and then something happens that really gets to me.
We have been trying to sell our house so that we can emigrate to Australia. The house has been on the market for about two years, and we’ve had three sales fall through already. So a few weeks ago, when we had agreed on a sale price …
“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” ~Unknown
The spiral staircase has always intrigued the yogi-designer in me. The visual draw, similarity to DNA, and cosmic patterns, as well as its mathematical genius, could be enough, but the structure can also mean more.
Picture yourself tripping up in work, life, or love. You’ve made a mistake, said the wrong thing, or didn’t come through with your end of the bargain.
You think, how did I let that happen? What a (fill in the blank) I am. I can’t believe I did that, again. If only I could rewind.…
“If you lose today, win tomorrow.” ~Daisaku Ikeda
From the moment we learn to walk and touch things, we hear the word no far more than we will ever hear the word yes.
“No, don’t touch that.” “No, that’s not for you.” “No, you shouldn’t eat paint chips.” OK, maybe that last one was just me, but you get the picture.
We are told no so much more than we are ever told yes during the course of growing up, so why is it as adults that hearing the word no can be so devastating? Shouldn’t we be used to …
“To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” ~Chuang-Tzu
The beauty of life is that we constantly have the opportunity to change it.
We always have the power to recreate it. We can change our thoughts, remember how to live instead of planning each moment, forgive the past, be present for the now, slow down the speed, and push the reset button on a day that has escaped us.
I recently had one of those days.
This past Saturday was wonderful, or so I thought it would be when I woke up.
I’d been invited to a traditional …
“I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
I thought I had relinquished anxiety after a few years of mindfulness and meditation. Then I had a baby. It is incredibly easy for us mothers to slide into permanent guilt and anxiety.
After a few minutes of watching my thoughts, I noticed they ran something like this:
“My baby is sleeping too much. Should I wake her? Oh no, she hasn’t slept enough and I woke her. I shouldn’t have woken her, I’ve ruined the day. How am I …
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron
If there’s one thing that has led me the greatest amount of re-invention, it’s anxiety. By anxiety I don’t mean worry or concern. Anxiety is a different animal that grabs a hold of you and halts you in your tracks.
We tend to reject its milder forms and are really terrified by its intense moments, like with panic attacks. It’s difficult to see when we’re fighting with anxiety that it can have any benefit, but it does.
Anxiety comes with some great treasures hidden …
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~ Pema Chodron
Nine out of ten times when I feel paralyzed, it’s because I doubt myself.
Sometimes I doubt my knowledge—whether I truly know enough to move forward. Sometimes I doubt the choices I’ve already made, as if I can somehow find a sense of control in rehashing what I’ve done and deciding how to do it better in the future.
Other times I doubt my instincts. I think I know what’s right for me, but my mind decides to split …
“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.” ~Unknown
For me, disappointment is one of life’s most uncomfortable feelings. It’s complex, containing a subset of other emotions like anger, hurt, sadness, and probably many others too subtle to identify.
Sometimes, those emotions by themselves are easier to deal with, but disappointment can leave me at a loose end.
I might not be sure whether I should feel angry, or just impatiently wish that I would hurry up and get over it. Disappointment can hover at the front of your mind and niggle at the back, bringing you …